Innate Immune System - Innate Immune Evasion

Innate Immune Evasion

Cells of the innate immune system effectively prevent free growth of bacteria within the body; however, many pathogens have evolved mechanisms allowing them to evade the innate immune system.

Evasion strategies that circumvent the innate immune system include intracellular replication, such as in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, or a protective capsule that prevents lysis by complement and by phagocytes, as in salmonella. Bacteroides species are normally mutualistic bacteria, making up a substantial portion of the mammalian gastrointestinal flora. Some species (B. fragilis, for example) are opportunistic pathogens, causing infections of the peritoneal cavity. These species evade the immune system through inhibition of phagocytosis by affecting the receptors that phagocytes use to engulf bacteria or by mimicking host cells so that the immune system does not recognize them as foreign. Staphylococcus aureus inhibits the ability of the phagocyte to respond to chemokine signals. Other organisms such as M. tuberculosis, Streptococcus pyogenes and Bacillus anthracis utilize mechanisms that directly kill the phagocyte.

Bacteria and fungi may also form complex biofilms, providing protection from the cells and proteins of the immune system; recent studies indicate that such biofilms are present in many successful infections, including the chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cenocepacia infections characteristic of cystic fibrosis.

Read more about this topic:  Innate Immune System

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